Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants Among Big Week 6 Winners
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Entering Week 6 there were several teams who faced critical "must-win" games.
No team matched that criteria more than the Eagles.
The Bay Area teams had different reasons to post big wins on Sunday.
The 49ers were out to prove that they are for real.
Michael Vick rushed for 54 yards against Washington.
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For the Eagles this was a "must-win" game.
They entered this game on a four-game losing streak. It was blamed on the offensive line, turnovers, poor defense and questionable play calling.
The Eagles could not afford to lose this contest.
Fortunately for the Eagles, Rex Grossman finally played like Rex Grossman. His horrible stat line: 9 of 22 passing for 143 yards, four interceptions and a 23.7 rating had him benched in favor of John Beck.
This time the Eagles built a 20-0 second quarter lead and were able to hold it up.
After this win, they might be the happiest 2-4 team ever.
New York Giants
The Giants rebounded at home over the Bills.
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Last week the Giants suffered an unexpected loss to Seattle.
This week they faced the hot Bills.
The Giants are in a four-week stretch that include two home games, a bye week and another home game. To lose this one would have wasted all the time at the Meadowlands.
The NFC East might be the most competitive in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers made their case to be considered among the best.
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People have been talking about the 49ers. However, most wondered whether they could go into Detroit and stop the Lions.
They answered with a resounding yes.
Despite what happened between the two coaches at the end of the game, this was about the 49ers defense.
Even though they forced no turnovers, they held Detroit 12 points below their season average. They kept Calvin Johnson out of the end zone, and held the Lions to just 2 of 13 on third down.
Believe it, or not, if the season ended today, San Francisco would have a first-round bye.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are in first place.
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Last week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 48-3 to San Francisco. They had not lost by that many points in 12 years.
This week the Saints were coming to town.
The Saints gained 453 total yards, but the Buccaneers forced four turnovers. They picked off Drew Brees three times.
Now the Buccaneers are in first place, and have beaten Atlanta and New Orleans.
A fan pays tribute to Al Davis.
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When one thinks of a professional sports franchise, a prominent player might often come to mind.
When thinking of the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis comes to mind. He has been the face of the Raiders since becoming head coach in 1963.
Even if some question his recent personnel moves, his impact on the NFL as we know it today cannot be denied.
This was the first Raiders home game since Davis' passing.
That they beat the Cleveland Browns is probably no surprise. It came with a heavy price though, as QB Jason Campbell suffered a broken right collarbone. He may be lost for the season.
That will be more adversity for the Raiders to overcome.
The Falcons scored 17 in the final quarter.
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Last week the Falcons lost to Green Bay after holding a 14-point lead.
This week they were playing Carolina and super rookie Cam Newton.
To lose at home to the Panthers would be embarrassing and unthinkable.
The Falcons gave up a 13-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 8:32, and gave the Panthers a 17-14 lead to open the third quarter.
After that the Falcons defense tightened. Carolina's last four drives totaled 19 plays, 80 yards and two interceptions.
In the meantime, the Falcons offense scored 17 unanswered points to win 31-17.
Now they're only a game back in the tough NFC South.